Zero Squared #68: Unsafe Spaces

Tom Slater is the guest this week and we discuss his book out from MacMillan entitled Unsafe Space: The Crisis of Free Speech on Campus which came out from MacMillan books in April. Tom Slater is deputy editor at spiked, UK. He coordinates spiked’s free-speech campaigns Down With Campus Censorship! and the Free Speech University Rankings, the UK’s first university league table for free speech. Tom has written on politics, pop culture and free speech for the Spectator, the Telegraph, Times Higher Education, The Times and the Independent.

In this episode you’ll hear from some Yalies who are afraid of Halloween, Joan Baez, instructions on how to freeze a peach, and clips from John Adam’s “The Chairman Dances” and Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s get it on” and the Vitamin String Quartet cover of Happy by Pharrell Williams.

Audio seems messed up, one side only

reheated Frankfurt schoolers, identity-politickers,post-colonialists, and all (basically the weak-tea marxist left one often hears on novara media and the like) are not post-structuralists.

I was very critical of your interview with Brendan O’Neil on this subject, but I’m thrilled with this episode. IMO a vast improvement in terms of exploring where this “movement” has come from, what function it is actually serving for ‘the left’ (“rehashing old battles as a way to avoid the challenges of now”, “a failure of imagination”), etc. without devolving into ‘in-my-day-we-were-less-sensitive’ complaint without substance (which is how the O’Neil interview came off, with an unwelcome dose of ‘right-libertarianese’). Although I don’t necessarily share Slater’s conviction that Enlightment values and individualism are central to any and all left projects, he articulates his positions very well, and they appear to come from a place of good faith (as opposed to, as he put it, “spleen venting”).

“Politics of symbolism without any substance” is a great summation.

Also, best of luck to your son, clearly a brave young revolutionary with a sense of humor.


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